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FOCUS September 2006 Volume 45

Ten-Point Commitment for Asia Pacific

Commitment no. 1:Assessing Racism and Discrimination and Monitoring Municipal Policies
To initiate, or develop further, in collaboration with NGOs, National Human Rights Commissions and institutions and UN systems (e.g. CERD, UN Special Rapporteurs, Human Rights Council), the collection of data on racism and discrimination, establish achievable objectives and set common indicators in order to assess the impact of municipal policies; and to act as "Clearing House" in order to contribute to the national and international reporting systems from the local viewpoint.

Commitment no. 2:Providing political leadership at the city and community levels to address issues of Discrimination and Exclusion
To raise awareness of the existence of racism and discrimination among local policy makers and city dwellers.

Commitment No. 3: Promoting an Inclusive Society
To develop and/or strengthen a network of people and organizations to share visions and concerns for harmonious relationships in a diverse and inclusive society.

Commitment no. 4:Strengthening Support for the Victims of Racism and Discrimination
To identify the victims and target groups of racism and discrimination and to support them and contribute to strengthening their capacity to defend themselves against racism and discrimination.

Commitment no. 5:Facilitating Greater Participation and the Empowerment of City Dwellers Through Access to Information
To ensure better information for city dwellers on their rights and obligations, on protection and legal options, and on the penalties for racist and discriminatory acts or behaviour, by using a participatory approach, notably through consultations with service users and service providers.

Commitment no. 6:Promoting The City As An Equal Opportunities Employer and Service Provider
The city commits itself to be an equal opportunities employer and equitable service provider, and to engage in considering the needs of people from culturally diverse communities in planning, monitoring, training and development to achieve this objective.

Commitment no. 7:Promoting The City As An Active Supporter of Equal Opportunity Practices
Where required, to facilitate and monitor equal opportunity employment practices and support for diversity in the labour market through proactive exercise of powers of the city authority.

Commitment no. 8:Challenging Racism and Discrimination Through Education
To strengthen measures against discrimination in access to, and enjoyment of, all forms of education; and to promote the provision of education in mutual respect, tolerance and understanding, and intercultural dialogue.

Commitment no.9:Promoting Cultural Diversity
To respect the culture of diverse communities including the set of attitudes, beliefs, practices, values, shared identities, rituals, customs, etc.; to ensure fair representation and promotion of the diverse cultural expression and heritage of city dwellers in the cultural programmes, collective memory and public space of the city authority; and to promote interculturality in the community life consistent with international human rights standards.

Commitment no. 10:Preventing and overcoming racist incitement and related violence
To support or establish mechanisms in dealing with racist incitement and related violence leading to reconciliation.

Declaration

The Cities participating in Regional Conference of Cities for an Inclusive Urban Society (3-4 August 2006, Bangkok, Thailand), Being Aware of the responsibility incumbent upon city authorities to provide for all city residents and visitors, without discrimination or through exclusion on the grounds of "race", colour, descent or national, ethnic or religious identity, economic status, disabilities, sexual orientation and/or other origins/status, the conditions in which they can flourish, while acknowledging and respecting the freedom, equality, dignity and rights of all;

Acknowledging that a commitment to address issues of racism and discrimination in the city is among the duties of city authorities, with a view towards engendering a citizenship that respects the diversity from which springs the wealth of societies;

Realising that only with the active participation of all city dwellers in policy development, implementation and evaluation, can action against racism and discrimination attain the scope and effectiveness it demands;

Resolving to draw lessons from past experience in action against racism, and to exchange expertise and good practices with a view to improving policies;

Recognizing that in the increasingly diverse and multiethnic cities, promoting equality and counteracting discrimination is a cornerstone in the sustainable development of cohesive democratic values;

Recalling past commitments made by Mayors of different regions of the world promoting respect and cultural diversity in their cities, as well as the creation of legal frameworks favourable to the expansion of fundamental rights to all city dwellers;

Emphasizing that the growing ethnic diversity of cities is a source of cultural dynamism, economic prosperity and social cohesion;

Have agreed to adopt this Ten-Point Commitment in order to give practical expression to their commitment to combat racism and discrimination in the spirit of the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance and its global Programme of Action (2001, Durban, South Africa).

This Ten-Point Commitment will make it possible for partner cities among others, to set priorities in their struggle against racism and discrimination, to rationalise and optimise policies and to reinforce cooperation in this area.

The Ten-Point Commitment is an instrument comprising ten points covering various areas of competence of city authorities and suggests some examples of actions that city authorities might consider with a view to fulfilling each of the points.

The signatory cities or other local government authorities undertake to integrate this Commitment in municipal strategies and policies and to involve in its implementation various actors from civil society, especially those who are the targets of discrimination.

The Ten Points and possible actions proposed in this Commitment make up a minimum programme requiring effective and expeditious implementation within a realistic time frame, and in no way preclude other actions in this area by city authorities.

The Commitment may be amended and expanded as appropriate in light of assessment of its implementation through the mechanisms provided for in this respect.

In addition, the Cities adhering to the Coalition of Cities against Racism and Discrimination in Asia and the Pacific will inform the Secretariat (to be established), other Coalition members, and UNESCO of their first actions to be undertaken in order to meet their commitments. The Cities will, through appropriate means and as soon as possible, indicate the concrete actions within the relevant time frame for implementation to be carried out for each Commitment made.


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